Compression sleeves and socks apply consistent pressure to the arteries of the lower leg and allow the arteries to relax during activity, which causes an increase in oxygen rich blood flow to working muscles. The graduated compression (highest pressure in the foot and decreasing in intensity towards the calf) assists the veins in pushing de-oxygenated blood back to the heart.
Compression socks and sleeves can be worn during activity to alleviate pain from common conditions such as calf and Achilles tendon strains, calf cramps, and shin splints. They can also be worn after activity as part of the recovery process from a run to decrease swelling and soreness in the foot, ankle, and lower leg.
At Fleet Feet Sports Des Moines, we carry CEP Compression socks and sleeves, which are graduated medical grade compression (18-22 mmHg).
Socks vs. Sleeves:
If you are going to be using the product exclusively for recovery, then we recommend going with a sock. The sock will apply graduated pressure to the foot and ankle to pump blood back towards the heart. Using a sleeve may cause pooling of the blood around the ankle and foot. A sock is also good for travel to reduce the likelihood of blood clots in the calf. During activity, you can use either a sock or sleeve.